Clinical oncology relates to any type of cancer treatment that is not surgery, including radiotherapy and systemic therapies.

Most cancer patients have more than one method of treatment, such as surgery to remove a tumour, followed by radiotherapy and/or systemic therapy. The surgery would be completed by a surgical oncologist (or possibly another type of doctor called an interventional oncologist) and the other treatments would be organised and given by a clinical or medical oncologist and their team. 

Together with a patient’s GP, a clinical or medical oncologist is often the key medical contact for a cancer patient, as these consultants can be involved in managing and overseeing treatment from beginning to end. 

Cancer treatment is extremely varied and complex depending on each patient’s circumstances, so oncologists work with a multidisciplinary team of other doctors and clinical staff to diagnose, treat and support patients. 

Training in Clinical Oncology

Page last reviewed: 22 May 2024
Next review due: 22 May 2025